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Uses of the term: Conformity
- A. Going Along w/ the group (Compliance)
- B. A change in attitudes or Beliefs (Attitude change)
- C. A basic Personality Trait
Key to all uses of conformity
a yielding to group pressure.
Distinctions of Conformity: Compliance from Attitude Change
What happens & how you get it to happen, are different. This was the most important distinction that needed to be made.
Distinctions of Conformity: Other Related Concepts (May or may not be conformity)
- Uniformity: We may all be alike in some way.
- Conventionality: We sometimes follow common practices
Distinctions of Conformity: (3)
- A. Compliance from Attitude Change.
- B. Other Related Concepts (Uniformity & Conventionality)
- C. NonConformity
Distinctions of Conformity: Nonconformity
- 1. Groups claimed to be nonconformist.
- 2. Research on nonconformity:
- -Groups exerts pressure on Reference group/person leading to independent or anticonformist.
Conformity has two opposites:
- Independent: Information source only.
- Anticonformist: Rebels against the group, uses the group position as a negative reference point.
Conclusions about Conformity (3)
- 1. Can't be a complete non-conformist, everyone conforms to some group at some time.
- 2. In any situation we could be conformists, independents, or anti-conformists.
- 3. Conformity isn't bad, w/o some conformity society would be chaotic.
Compliance: Ash Studies
- Ash believe that people coud stand up to social pressures.
- Experiment: Seated in a row, last person was only real subject. Previous people in row would give obvious wrong answer.
- -32% of the time, incorrect, conforming response given.
- -74% of subjects conformed at least once.
- 1.Ignoring: People ignore what to see to go along w/ the group.
- 2. Distortion: People can actually change what they see, distorting their own perceptions.
Compliance: Historical Examples - German atrocities during WWII, why people participated.
- "I was ordered to.."
- My Lai: Lt. Calley ordered men to destroy village.
- Lesson: We must decide ahead of time what we are willing to do, and what we're not. This is why ethics training is so important.
Compliance: Milgram's Experiments
- 1. The percentage of individuels who went to 450 volts: Psychiatrists estimated 0.1% actually was 65% went all the way.
- 2. No subject stopped prior to: 300 volts
- Confederate to experiment was always the learner.
Milgram's Experiments: Variations showed that compliance dropped when:
- Subject (teacher) was brought closer to learner.
- Experiment was conducted in a run-down suite of offices, not at Yale.
- Subject is made to fee personally responsible.
- Experimenter was farther away from the subjects.
Milgrams Experiments: Conclusion, and ethics of such experiments
- Conclusion: Human conscience cannot be relied on to step in and half activities that may be injurious to others.
- Ethics of Experiment: This regards the need to protect subject from traumatic experiences.
Compliance: Phillip Zimbardo Experiment
- Overview: Standford University Students were chosen at random to play role of either guard or prisoner.
- Result: Had to terminate experiment after ony 6 days b/c excessive cruelty on part of the guards toward prisoners.
- Conclusion: People don't always need specific, instructions. They will comply even w/ role expectations.
Studies of Deviance: (4)
- Classic Experiment: Disscussion group regarding a current controversial topic.
- Classroom Exercise: What to do w/ David Coleman who was asking irritating questions.
- Type of Members in groups:
- A. Model Person - has the group position throughout discussion.
- B. The Slider - (good common sense) starts out different, but comes around to the group position.
- C. Deviant - Starts out different, stays different, and is not popular.
- Group Stages in dealing w/ a deviant:
- A. Sharing of information
- B. Focus on the deviant - get him/her to come around.
- C. Rejection (or ejection) of the deviant.
Studies of Deviance: Factors that determine which outcome occurs
- The need to include the deviant in the discussion.
- Important of the issue to the group - (not important, not going to care.
- Resources (power) invested in the informal group
- Group norms (esp. those regarding deviance.)
Lessons from Compliance Research
- 1. Everyday lives, we greatly underestimate the influence others have over us.
- 2. Not everyone in these experiments complied w/ unethical demands. Recall that in Milgram's first experiment fully 35% did not comply.
- 3. W/ training and forethought poeple can resist pressures to commit unethical or immoral acts. We're not doomed to the lowest common denominator.
Attitude Change: Festinger's Cognitive Dissonance Studies.
- Description: Cognitive (one's thinking) dissonance (discomfort) is caused by a conflict between attitudes & behavior.
- Experiment: Subjects asked to complete a boring task.
- Conditions: (1) promised $20 (2) Promised $1 to tell another person it was interesting
- Which condition did most subjects themselves stated they thought the task was interesting and that they would like to participate in it again.
- Result: Significantly it was promised $1 condition, why? B/c they had to convince themselves internally it was indded interesting. Not just for the money.
Attitude Change: Festinger's Cognitive dissonance studies - Technique of worst perils
- A rationalization method.
- Know smoking is bad, but there are worse things like alcohol, drugs, & vehicle accidents.
Attitude Change: Historical Example - American prisoners during the Korean War - Brainwashing Techniques.
- A. Leaders (stripes or bars) were removed
- B. Daily lectures & participation in communism debates.
- C. Group confession sessions mandatory (Key factor. Stand up for 30mins and confess their faults)
- D. Bette treatment for those who showed sympathy for communist doctrines.
- E. Mail containing depressing information always got through.
- F. Prisoners who told on other prisoners were given special privileges and those told on were not punished. No one ever tried to escape.
Results & Conclusion from Brainwashing Techniques of American Prisoners during the Korean War -
- A. Charges for misconduct by other prisoners filed against 565 former prisoners.
- B. Prisoners did not trust one another.
- C. No one tried to escape.
- D. Much higher than usual collaboration w/ propaganda.
Subtle techniques are better for attitude change than force.
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research (an influence technique) Definition of an attitude
"An idea, charged w/ emotion, that predisposes a set of actions to a specific group of stimuli."
- Components of this definition:
- Affective (charged w/ emotion)
- Behavioral (a set of actions)
- Cognitive (an idea)
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research: Attitude formation, attitudes are learned from:
- Direct experience: involvement w/ objects and people.
- Social Communication: Info from parents, friends, media.
- Emotional Conditioning: Thus, attitudes don't always need reasons.
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research: Measuring attitudes
- Affective component: verbal and physiological measures.
- Behavioral component: observing behavior
- Cognitive component: questionnaires or surveys
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research: Attitude Scales
- Graphic Scales: check a number of positions.
- ie. Trade unions have too great effect on economy.
- Strongly Agree ____ ____ ____ Strongly Disagree
- 1 2 3
- Semantic Differential Scales: Pairs of opposite adjectives.
- My Immediate Supervisor;
- Effective ____ ____ ____ Ineffective
- Foolish ____ ____ ____ Wise
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research: Dependent Variables of Attitude Change, How do we know when attitude change occurs?
- Attention: we must be paying attention
- Comprehension: must understand, correctly
- Yielding: We must accept the persuasive message.
- Retention: We must remember the message.
- Action: it should have an affect on us.
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research: Independent Variables of attitude change, Techniques that can cause it to occur?
- Source Factors: ex. who is the messenger?
- -Expertise, Attractiveness, similarity, credibility (trust worthiness) the most important of all.
- Message Factors: Aspects of the message.
- Medium Factors: How the message is transmitted.
- -Spoken appeal are more effective than written, mass media is relatively ineffective.
- Audience Factors: Whom are you trying to persuade?
Independent Variables of attitude change, Techniques that can cause it to occur? Message Factors: Fear Appeals, is it a case of the more fear the better?
Answer: No, there is an optimal level of fear arousal. If too low there is no change, if too high people turn off to the fear.
Independent Variables of attitude change, Techniques that can cause it to occur? Audience Factors: Self Esteem
Low Self esteem females seem more alienated to persuasion, whereas low self-esteem males are morel likely to accept it.
Independent Variables of attitude change, Techniques that can cause it to occur? Audience Factors: Prior Beliefs
- Internal Anchor: Current attitude
- External Anchor: Persuasive Message
- Contrast: If the external anchor is too far away = Audience will only see contract or difference & reject message
- Assimilation: If the external anchor is close = Audience will assimilate (take in) the difference and is more likely to accept the persuasive communication.
Attitude Change: Persuasion Research: Attitudes & Actions (behaviors) why is there an inconsistency?
Behavioral intention, not attitude towards an object.
Answer: Actions are influenced by many factors.
Attitude Change: Immunizing Against Persuasion, Medical History
- Medical History of immunization (Edward Jenner)
- Milk maids got cow pox and served as an immunization
Attitude Change: Immunizing Against Persuasion, Experiment by William McGuire: Truisms from Health
- Support (vitamin) condition -> given supporting arguments
- Inoculation Condition -> Refute weak attack
- Control Group -> Given neither of these.
The inoculation condition was most successful.
Earlier weak attacks stimulates the individual to bolster his own defenses. This implies that this might be the better method for helping people resist persuasion attempts.
Is there a conforming personality?
Simple answer: YES.
There is a tendency for some people to conform more than others across situations (either through compliance or persuadability) but the situation itself may be the most powerful determinant as to who will conform.
Conforming Personality: Situation Factors
- Is it a reference group: who is trying to bring about conformity.
- Importance of the issue: Some people are more likely to conform in some situations, but not in others.
- Methods that work for compliance (power) may not work for attitude change (influence techniques are better.)
Power and Influence (change behavior)
- Power: "The ability to change the behavior of others w/ regularity and w/ ease.
- Based on: There has to be a source of power.
Power & Influence
- Influence: "Efforts to change the behavior of others, outside formal power and authority."
- Based on: personality, methods or tactics. Influence is often broader and more subtle than power.
Power & Influence: Bases of Power
- Reward Power: Ability to distribute or withhold rewards.
- Coercive Power: Administer negative incentives or punishment.
- Legitimate Power: Based on the belief that a manger has a legitimate right to exercise control.
- Referent Power: Based on a high level of admiration and respect for the power holder.
- Expert Power: Based on the possession of expert, often job-relevant knowledge.
Bases of Power: Reward Power
- Ability to distribute or withhold Rewards
- Useful only if it is considered to be a reward.
- Also useful only if the manager controls rewards.
Bases of Power: Coercive Power
Ability to administer negative incentives or punishment.
Negative incentives (reinforcement) are used to get people to work harder and punishments to eliminate bad behavior.
Must be used carefully, since it creates a negative atmosphere.
Bases of Power: Legitimate Power
- Based on belief that a manager has a legitimate right to exercise control.
- Derives from social conditioning, the person designated as an authority figure.
- Effective only if accepted.
Bases of Power: Referent Power
- Based on a high level of admiration and respect for the power holder
- Derives from an identification w/ and desire to get benefits / curry favors from the power holder.
Bases of Power: Expert Power
- Based on the possession of expert, often job-relevant knowledge.
- In US culture; this is usually limited to a specific realm.
Bases of Power: Interplay Among the Power Bases
- Formal Power Bases: Reward, coercive, and legitimate power.
- -Resides in the position. Have a greater impact on immediate behavior.
- Informal Power Bases: referent and expert power.
- -Resides int he person. Have a greater capacity to affect overall employee satisfaction and performance.
Power and Influence: Political Tactics in Organizations - Acceptable Tactics
- -Forming Coalitions & Networks.
- -Impression Management
- -Information Management
- -Promote the Opposition
- -Pursuing Line Responsibility.
Power and Influence: Political Tactics in Organizations - Devious Political Tactics
- -Take no Prisoners
- -Divide and Conquer
- -Exclude the opposition
Acceptable Political Tactics: Ingratiation & Forming Coalitions and Networks.
- Ingratiation: Giving compliments to or doing favors for superiors or coworkers.
- -Make recipient feel positive toward the source.
- -Based on reciprocity, and obligation to repay positive actions.
- -Social credits; allow for time differences in repayment.
- Forming Coalitions and Networks: Befriending important people.
- -May provide useful information and other resources.
Acceptable Political Tactics: Impression & Information Management.
- Impression Management: Management of outward appearance and style.
- -An attempt to exhibit the preferred organizational image.
- Information Management: Control of info shared w/ others.
- -Can promote one's self interest or defeat the efforts of others.
Acceptable Political Tactics: Promote the Opposition & Pursuing Line Responsibility.
- Promote the Opposition: Eliminate rivals by having them transferred to a higher position, elsewhere.
- Pursuing Line Responsibility: Gaining influence by utilizing or being assigned to a line position.
Devious Political Tactics:
(Difficult to defend on moral grounds)
- Take No prisoners: Ruthlessly eliminate all who may resent your past action by having them fired or transferred.
- Divide & Conquer: create a feud among two or more people so they will be continually out of balance, and thus unable to mount an attack against you.
- Exclude the opposition: Keeping rivals away from important meetings and social occasions.
(often costly mistakes)
- Violating chain of Command: Can be a taboo.
- Losing your cool: Can give reputation as being hard to deal w/
- Saying no to top management: May be costly if your'e not considered indispensable.
- Upstaging your supervisor: by publically criticizing or making them look bad.
- Challenging cherished beliefs: these are often important values that have become a part of the organizational culture.
Coping w/ organizational Politics
- Set an example: be a positive role model.
- Give clear job assignments: politics thrive in ambiguity.
- Eliminate Detrimental Coalitions and cliques: this may be done by having people transferred or rotated.
- Confront game players: shine light on hidden tactics.
Power & Influence: Influence Styles
- Shotguns: Refuse to take "no" for an answer.
- -Viewed least favorably & 3rd in terms of earnings.
- Tacticians: Influence through reason & logic
- -Viewed most favorably & highest earnings.
- Ingratiators: rely on ingratiation & flattery
- -Viewed moderately favorably & earned the least.
- Bystanders: Watch the action rather than try to influence it.
- -Viewed moderately favorably and were 2nd in earnings.
Training to be highly assertive is probably not the best approach.
Power & Influence: Other Influence Techniques
- Create appearance of being higher status:
- -Ex. Well-dressed jay walker, 3x more people cross w/ him.
- Create appearance that a behavior is normative:
- -Ex. Placing dollars in a tip glass or planting ringers in audiences to come forth w/ cures or donations.
- Foot-in-the-door principle: Start w/ a small favor.
- -Ex. Small sign before large "Drive carefully" sign.
- Door-in-the-face principle: Star w/ an unreasonable request, which will be turned down, followed w/ small request.
- -Ex. Ask for banana split, then just ask for a cookie.
Power & Influence: Ethics in Organizational Politics
- Guidelines: Political behavior is appropriate only if it respects:
- 1. The rights of all affected parties.
- 2. The cannons of justice (what is considered to be equitable and fair.)
Nature of Groups: Definition
Two or more people who INTERACT with each other, and CONSIDER themselves as being members of a group.
Formal vs. Informal Groups & Congruence within Informal groups.
- Formal Groups: Defined by the organization and a part of its structure. Have designated work assignments and tasks.
- Informal Groups: Social alliances that aren't organizationally determined.
- Congruence: The effect of informal groups depends on the degree of congruence (match) between organizational goals and the goals of the informal group.
Open vs. Closed Groups
- Open groups: Frequently change membership.
- -Advantages: New ideas & personalities, more adaptable to external change.
- -Disadvantages: Frequent change can bring about disruption.
- Closed Groups: relatively stable membership.
- -Advantages: Less susceptible to disruption, continuity of policies and procedures, better for long-rang planning.
- -Disadvantages: More staid (stuck in their ways), Less adaptable to external change.
Command (line) vs. Task Groups
- Command Groups: managers, their superiors, and subordinates. Are part of the administrative hierarchy.
- Task Groups: Work together to carry out a function. Are not part of the administrative hierarchy.
Reasons for Joining Groups (5)
- Security & Protection: Groups reduce insecurity & stress.
- Affiliation: People need for affiliation & social support.
- Esteem & Identity: Make people feel more important.
- Power: accomplish things which an't be achieved by individuals.
- Task Accomplishment: Groups can often accomplish more, than an equal amount working separately.
Group Dynamics: Interpersonal Attraction - Distance
: the opportunity to interact.
- Physical Distance: People who are physically closer have a better opportunity to interact.
- Psychological Distance: More importantly, those who are psychologically closer (no wall between them)
Law of Attraction
People are more likely to be attracted who are:
- Similar in attitudes & values.
- Complimentary (opposite) in needs & abilities.
Social Exchange Theory
Individuals monitor relationships & decide whether or not they should continue.
- Rewards - Cost = Outcome
- If rewards exceed costs then the relationship may continue.
Comparison Standards: We compare w/ two standards.
- Comparison Level(CL): How are other being treated?
- Comparison Level Alternative (CL alt): Are there any alternative relationships?
Comparison Standards: Compare w/ two standards (graphic example)
- Outcomes exceed CL:
- & Outcomes exceed CL alt: Satisfied & stable
- & Outcomes below CL alt: Satisfied but uncommitted.
- Outcomes below CL:
- & Outcomes exceed CL alt: Dissatisfied but continuing.
- & Outcomes below CL alt: Dissatisfied & uncommitted.
Stages of Group Development (5)
- Forming: Members get to know each other and seek to establish ground rules.
- Storming: Members wrestle for the division of power.
- Norming: Members learn how to work together & establish camaraderie.
- Performing: Energy moves toward task performance.
- Adjourning: Groups may disband, gradually or suddenly.
With the presence of others...
- Overall arousal effect - Increased level of motivation.
- Facilitation: (improved performance) is more likely to occur with relatively simple, well-learned tasks.
- Inhibition: (impaired performance) is more likely to occur with complex tasks or in early stages of learning where dominant response is making mistakes.
Increases in group size have the tendency to:
- Increase the total amount of resources.
- Diminish the impact and contribution of each individual.
Conclusions - As group size increases groups tend to:
- Be more accepting of authoritarian Leadership.
- Have more formalized rules and procedures.
- Have less satisfaction among group members.
- Require more time to complete tasks.
- Be better at problem-solving
- Experience social loafing where the groups efforts are less than the expected sum.
- Function better w/ divergent processes (expanding)
- Function less well in convergent processes (narrowing) b/c of different ways of thinking.
Group Composition: Relevance of skills & experiences
Adding more members will not help unless the skills and experiences of new members are relevant to the task.
Group Composition: Competent members must be influential
If people w/ the least skill or information are influential than the group will not benefit from diversity.
Definition of a team
A group whose members have complementary skills and are committed to a common purpose or set of performance goals for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
How teams differ from groups
- Performance: teems depend not just on individual contributions, but also on collective actions.
- Accountability: in groups is the individual, but teams focus on both individual and mutual accountability.
- Common commitment or purpose: in teams as opposed to merely having a common interest or goal.
- Self-managing: Once an assignment is made.
Creating Effective Teams
- Prework: Decisions must be made on team's purpose and members.
- Performance Conditions: Proper resources must be provided.
- Forming and Building: boundaries, mission, and responsibilities.
- Ongoing assistance: replacing disruptive members, replenishing materials.
The typical behavior characterizing a person in a specific social context.
Aspects of roles:
- Expected role: The typical behavior characterizing a person in a specific social context.
- Perceived role: The set of activities an individual believes he/she should perform.
- Enacted role: the person's actual conduct.
- Role Episode: Process by which individuals receive information about their role and adjust their behavior accordingly.
Differing expectations, either between the role incumbent and supervisor, or between supervisors.
- Confusion arising from unclear signals as to a person's actual role.
- *note in many circumstances a little ambiguity is necessary.
The relative prestige, social position, or rank given to groups or individuals by others.
- Personal characteristics
- Ability to administer rewards
- Formal Authority
Where all the attributes of status of high status individuals are not higher than those of low status individuals.
Influence on decision making:
high status persons have a disproportionately higher influence on decisions.
rules of conduct that are established to maintain behavioral consistency of group members.
Norms maintain behavioral consistency by:
- providing a useful reference for comprehending their group
- identifying appropriate and inappropriate conduct.
Formal vs. Informal Norms
- Formal: considered important by the organization written in organizational manuals and codes of conduct/ethics.
- Informal: Routine rules of conduct decided on socially. A majority of the norms that govern our lives are decided upon through social adjustments and are unwritten.
Prescriptive vs. Proscriptive Norms.
- Prescriptive: Expectations as to what is suppose to be done.
- Proscriptive: Expectations as to what is NOT suppose to be done.
Characteristics of Norms
- Represent the structural characteristics of the group.
- Apply strictly to behavior, not thoughts or feelings.
- Most often developed for behaviors judged to be important by a majority of group members.
- Not all norms apply to all members (high status people)
Classes of Norms
- Performance-related processes: regarding how hard to work, to get the job done, and to communicate.
- Appearance Factors: Regarding appropriate attire, loyalty, when to goof off.
- Informal Social arrangements: Regulate social interactions, social games, and friendships.
- Allocation of resources: Pay, assignment to jobs, tools, equipment, computers.
Factors that induce and sustain group cohesiveness.
- Similarity of attitudes and goals.
- External threats, sometimes used by dictators.
- Unit size, smaller groups are more cohesive.
- Reward Systems, on a group rather than individual basis
- Work unit assignments based on interpersonal attraction, similarity and common goals.
- Isolation, groups in isolation are more cohesive.
Effects of Cohesiveness
- In-group Communication
- Outward Hostility
- Managers should monitor the level of cohesiveness.
- Cohesiveness should be maintained or increased if the benefits outweigh the costs or reduced if they don't.
Process that results when one person (or a group of people) perceives that another person or group is frustrating, or about to frustrate, and important concern.
Traditional view vs. Contemporary View of Conflict
- Traditional: Conflict is harmful and serves no useful purpose.
- Contemporary: Conflict is often desirable.
Successful conflict management
- Sustaining a target level of conflict.
- Selecting a Conflict reduction strategy.
Only functional Conflict: supports group goals and performance.
Functional vs. Dysfunctional Conflict
- Functional: supports group goals and improves performance
- Dysfunctional: hinders group performance.
Contemporary View Does not address:
- Intra- vs. Intergroup Distinction
- Individual Perspective
- Conflict easier to start than manage.
Intra vs. Intergroup Distinction
- Intra (within groups):
- -Increased cohesivness = Focus on Activity
- -Rise in Autocrafit Leadership = Emphasis on Loyalty
- Inter (between groups):
- -Hostility = Decreased communications
- -Negative Stereotyping = distorted perceptions.
Even when groups benefit, it is possible that individual rights, desires, and goals may suffer.
Conflict contemporary view problems
- Identifying the optimal level of conflict is difficult.
- Selecting and utilizing conflict reduction strategies require a great deal of skill and experience.
Different understanding regarding the meaning of words.
Sources of Conflict
- Insufficient Exchange of information
- Channel Chosen, ie. writing is more prone to distortion.
- Incorrect, ambiguous or distored information can create hostility.
Sources of Conflict: Structural Factors
- Organization Size: more conflict in larger organizations
- Staff Heterogeneity: regards to authority, longevity, values can cause conflict.
- Participation: higher w/ more subordinate participation increases level of conflict.
- Line (core function units) -staff: differing goals and functions performing different functions, w/ different goals, values and backgrounds can cause conflict.
- Mutually Exclusive Reward systems: when some are rewarded at expense of others.
- Competition for scarce resources: money, space, ect.
- Distribution of Power: some groups feel others have too much power, some desire power for its own sake.
Sources of Conflict: Personal Behavior Factors
- Value or perception differences
- Faulty attributions (faulty assumptions)
- Conflict prone individuals
- Characteristic: two attractive alternatives.
- Resolution: Slight movement toward one alt will usually break deadlock.
- Post-Choice Regret: usually occurs, and individual will rationalize the choice by playing down the other alt.
- Characteristic: Two equally unattractive options.
- Resolutions: Change in strength of one option, or leave the situation.
- Characteristic: Single goal has both positive and negative qualities.
- Resolutions: requires strengthening of one motive over the other. by...
- A. Increase Attractiveness
- B. Decrease Unattractiveness.
Potential Positive Conflict Effects
- Brings problems out into open
- Encourages new ideas, innovation and change.
- May force people to challenge assumptions.
- Motivates people to try and understand eachother
Potential Negative Conflict Effects
- Cause negative emotions and stress
- Reduces communication required for coordination.
- Produce Authoritarian styles
- Produce negative stereotyping.